Mahjong Crimes is a tile-matching game laid over the stories of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot. Poirot is similar to Sherlock Holmes in a different era. Mahjong takes tiles with Chinese drawings and letters or words and stacks them into different shaped game boards and towers. The player must clear the board of all tiles by matching them into pairs.
Each level has a timer, power-ups, and a bonus multiplier (that increases the player’s score based on how fast they are making matches). There are also special levels. The player gets a key for earning all three stars. There are also levels with special clue tiles or where an object has to be released to fall. As the player beats levels, cut scenes move the mystery forward. The first mystery the player solves is The Murder on the Orient Express.
Mahjong Crimes has in-game ads and purchases. The ESRB rated it T for Teen for infrequent or mild references to tobacco, alcohol, fear, violence, and suggestive themes. LW4K stands by this rating.
Mahjong Crimes helps kids practice and improve the following skills:
Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.
This game has two different timers going and a lot of different tiles to look at. This means that the player needs to use all their focus skills if they want to be successful. If they don’t ignore internal and external distractions they will lose bonus points and could easily run out of time for the level. There are some levels where they will also need to split their focus between the timers and a specific goal (such as matching and removing all the letter tiles).
Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.
Working memory skills will also be strengthened by playing this game. First, it is important to follow the directions for each level. The sooner the player completes any special goals, the more time they will have left on the timer, which translates to more points. If they don’t remember what they are supposed to be doing, it will eat away at their timer-and possibly points—for that level. Visual memory skills will also help. If the player can remember the general or exact location of a tile after they see it, it will be easier to make a match when they find its partner. A better memory means faster matches, better bonuses, and a higher score.
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